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BT announces new head of security business

BT has appointed a former law enforcement officer and BT investigator as the new head of its security business

BT has announced the appointment of Kevin Brown as managing director of BT Security to succeed Mark Hughes, who is stepping down at the end of 2018.

In 2019, Brown will take over responsibility for BT’s physical and cyber security activity around the world, while Hughes is to take up a new position outside of BT.

BT is one of the world’s biggest providers of cyber security services, with 3,000 staff around the world protecting BT’s operations across 180 countries as well as its customers’ networks.

According to BT, its global network of Security Operations Centres protects the company against 125,000 cyber attacks every month and provides cyber security solutions and services to consumers, governments and businesses.

Brown joined BT in 2012, following a 20-year career in law enforcement. He has specialised in security throughout his time at BT, and in previous roles has led its global investigation and intelligence teams and driven the modernisation of BT’s protection systems.

In his previous role of vice-president at BT Security, Brown led engagement with international governments, and managed its relationships with international law enforcement agencies such as Interpol and Europol.

“Our global network gives us a ringside view of the latest threats so we can anticipate and mitigate emerging attacks before they impact our business or our customers,” said Brown. “I’m really looking forward to continuing the rapid growth that BT Security has seen in recent years.”

According to BT, its security business is one of the company’s fastest growing areas, driven by the industrialisation of cyber crime and the need for organisations and individuals to take proactive measures to protect their digital assets.

BT claims to be the UK’s biggest private cyber security employer, and plans to increase its headcount by 25% in the next five years to develop the next generation of cyber security professionals and meets BT’s growth ambition.

Failure to develop cyber security skills is exposing organisations to cyber attacks and exacerbating the skills gap, according to research published in March 2018.

More than half (51%) of 500 IT professionals and IT decision-makers at UK organisations believe they need to grow these skills in the next five years, according to a study by Rackspace and researchers at the London School of Economics (LSE) with sponsorship from Intel.

The lack of investment in training new hires in skills, such as cyber security, is expected to contribute to a shortage of professionals to meet demand in the next five years, with organisations urged to increase in-work training.

There could be up to 1.8 million information security-related roles unfilled worldwide by 2022, according to the latest Global information security workforce study from (ISC)2, while in Europe, the shortfall is projected to be about 350,000, with the UK’s share of unfilled cyber security jobs expected to be around 100,000.

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